Steve Russell, Thorne Dreyer's guest on Rag Radio, wrote a December 2017 Newsweek cover story, "America and Guns: To Understand That Deadly Obsession, Come to Texas," and also penned a companion piece -- "Is gun violence our manifest destiny?" -- for The Rag Blog.
Steve was originally scheduled to discuss those stories on Rag Radio on Dec. 15, 2018, but that show had to be rescheduled. He's with us today, and it could not be more timely! The show was first broadcast two days after the shootings that killed 17 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida
As Eric Ortiz wrote at Truthdig:
"...violence has become normalized and accepted in America. The response to violence has become predictable and gutless. Instead of lawmakers rushing to craft sensible gun laws after a mass shooting, all we get are 'thoughts and prayers and condolences.'"
Steve Russell is a regular contributor to The Rag Blog and, in fact, was a staff writer, from 1969 to the mid-'70s, for Austin's underground newspaper (and our rowdy antecedent), The Rag. Steve Russell is also a veteran of the anti-war movement and worked with Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers.
Steve is retired from a first career as a trial court judge in Texas and a second career as a university professor that began at The University of Texas-San Antonio. He is now associate professor emeritus of criminal justice at Indiana University-Bloomington. Russell is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and a ninth-grade dropout. He is living in Sun City, just north of Austin, and working on a third career as a freelance writer. His newest project is a book of autobiographical essays explaining how an Indian ninth grade dropout was able to become a judge and a professor without picking up a high school diploma or a GED.
Steve Russell has been our guest twice before; on one show he was joined by Dakota activist Geronimo Son to talk about Standing Rock and protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Rag Radio is produced in the studios of KOOP 91.7-FM, an all-volunteer, cooperatively-run, solar powered community radio station in Austin, Texas, in association with The Rag Blog and the New Journalism Project, a Texas 501(c)(3) nonprofit. It is streamed live on the Internet at KOOP.org and Radio Free America. The host and producer of Rag Radio, Thorne Dreyer, is a prominent Austin-based activist and writer who was a pioneer of the ’60s underground press movement. The show’s engineer and co-producer is Tracey Schulz and the staff photographer is Roger Baker. The syndicated show is broadcast (and streamed) live Fridays, 2-3 p.m. (Central) on KOOP, and is later rebroadcast and streamed on WFTE-FM in Mt. Cobb and Scranton, PA., on Houston Pacifica's KPFT HD-3 90.1, and by KKRN, 88.5-FM in Round Mountain, CA -- and as a featured podcast at Veterans Today. Learn more about Rag Radio here.